Low rate initial production (LRIP)
is a term commonly used in military weapon
projects/programs to designate the phase of initial, small-quantity production
of a weapons systems. The prospective first buyer and operator (i.e., a country's defence authorities and the relevant military units) gets to thoroughly test the weapons system over some protracted amount of time—in order to gain a reasonable degree of confidence as to whether the system actually performs to the agreed-upon requirements before contracts for mass production
The term is also applied in fields other than weapons production, most commonly in non-weapon military equipment programs.